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An Assessment of the Adaptability to Climate Change of Commercially Available Maize Varieties in Zimbabwe

Author(s): Tinashe Nyabako | Emmanuel Manzungu

Journal: Environment and Natural Resources Research
ISSN 1927-0488

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

A study was undertaken to assess the adaptability to climate change of commercially available maize varieties in Zimbabwe using 2010, 2020, 2050 and 2080 climate change scenarios. The FAO’s Ecocrop Model was used to assess the suitability of early, short, medium and long season maize varieties grown under rainfed conditions in different agro-ecological regions (1 to 5) whose agricultural potential decreases progressively due to the amount of rainfall received. Regions 1 and 2 conditions are projected to decrease in size by 14%, region 3 by 26%, while regions 4 and 5 are projected to increase by 40%. The area suitable for growing early low yielding maize varieties will remain at nearly 100% in regions 1 and 2. The area suitable for growing medium maturing varieties will decline to below 20% in regions 4 and 5. Overall, only 2% of Zimbabwe s’ land area, mainly in region 1, will be suitable for growing high yielding late maturing maize varieties. The paper concludes that the currently available maize germplasm in the country is not suitable for the projected climate change conditions.

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